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Conversation with Avishai Cohen

By Published: October 3, 2003
AAJ: The same with Louis Armstrong's answer. He was asked, "What's jazz?" he answered, "Jazz is what you are".

AC: Yeah. Exactly. Wow. Beautiful.

AAJ: Going back to the individual tracks, I wanted to ask about your relationship with Chick Corea. There's that incredible duet. How did you start playing together?

AC: Some of my music was handed over to him. One of my first endeavors. I had a band here in New York around '96, '97 and he loved it and called me one day in New York and was basically very excited about my music and asked me if I wanted to sign with him and play with him. It was a very exciting thing. That's basically how it started to make a very long story very short.

AAJ: Playing with him do you primarily play on bass?

AC: Yes. I play bass only with him. As he is the best pianist in the world, I'm not needed.

AAJ: Has that experience playing with him effected your music?

AC: Oh sure. It's shaped me as a musician like no other thing would. I mean, he's a genius of music I can only thank'I don't know who'the gods, the lord. I'm very, very grateful that he chose me, that he embraced me and continues to embrace me as a very inspiring entity for him. It's a very, very incredible relationship.

AAJ: Will you continue to play with him?

AC: Yeah, I'm touring with him in November in Europe. We're doing a few tours a year. I'm much more busy doing my own stuff now, which is great. He, of course, is always doing stuff. But it's a very deep connection that we have so we stay connected and we play. The reason I have him on the record is that I wanted to show the connection that we have musically which is very emotional. I don't know, it's a life connection.

AAJ: You can here in the interaction you have that it's more than just'I don't want to say just'but just musical. There's a lot going on there.

AC: Yeah.

AAJ: What's the next step for Razdaz?

AC: The next step for Razdaz at this point is just to support Lyla and go day by day. Razdaz is already scheduled to get in the studio for me in February to do my next record which when you called I was in the midst of writing.

AAJ: Sorry.

AC: No, it's cool. It's all right. That's how it is. I'm already finished'not completing'shaping the whole record.

AAJ: Is that going to be as diverse as Lyla.

AC: I don't think it's going to be as diverse as this one. I'm going for more, how can I say, more of a complete sound of a record. Some of the pieces are telling me I'm going back to my first record almost. I'm going back to the sounds of my first recording which are a little middle-eastern.

AAJ: That will be very interesting. I look forward to it. You'll be here in D.C. fairly soon right?

AC: Yes, I think that's right.

AAJ: I'm sure I'll be there.

AC: Great. Come and say hello.

AAJ: Thanks.


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Download jazz mp3 “Seven Seas” by Avishai Cohen